Friday 26 June 2020

9 ways to bring more light into your home

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Identify any light blocking sources

Is there anything blocking or obscuring the windows and doors in your home? Is there a large piece of furniture in the way?  Do you have too much furniture in the room? Is your furniture too dark? Is there a large tree outside? 

Once you identity the root of the problem, it can be easy to remedy.

Rearrange your furniture. Alternatively identify if there are are any pieces of furniture not being used - or not being used to their full potential - and use this as an excuse to have a clear out. Your room will instantly feel bigger and lighter. Or simply replace taller pieces with lower level items like a lower sofa or lower storage solutions like sideboards rather than floor to ceiling cupboards. Or replace darker furniture with lighter furniture. The possibilities are endless.

If there is a tree or tall shrub obscuring a window, either cut it back or move it. If it's a smaller tree or plant which you simply don't want any more, why not offer it to a friend, neighbour or family member?

And another common light blocking source... dirty windows. Run a cloth over each of your windows and inspect - the cloth will be dirtier than you think! Cleaning your windows regularly - both inside and out - will ensure that more natural light can filter through into your home and who doesn't love sparkling windows?

Image source: Logan Nolin on Unsplash

Go for lighter window fittings

Are your curtains and blinds too heavy and not working for that particular space? Consider lighter window fittings like voile curtains that flutter in the breeze, or for privacy and light in say your bathroom (or any other rooms where the neighbours can look in!) try window film. Forget traditional, boring, cloudy window film - nowadays there are lots of lovely prints and patterns out there which will allow you to add interest to your windows whilst at the same time allowing light and privacy.

Consider your colour scheme

Keeping your walls light and bright will help create a light and airy space. Avoid bright whites (which can look cold and clinical) and instead opt for off-whites, pale greys, pastels or brights like sunny yellows. Be brave. Paint isn't expensive so you can always change your mind later! 

Design a lighting scheme

Poor lighting isn't just in relation to natural light - this also extends to artificial light (think lamps and light fittings around the home). The best artificial light will enhance any natural light coming into your home rather than take away from it. Consider LED bulbs (which are 90% more energy efficient than regular bulbs) and dimmer switches or additional lighting such as sconces and table lamps, which will allow you to both soften and layer the lighting in your home.

Get clever with mirrors 

Place a large mirror on the wall opposite to or adjacent to a window to help bounce the light around the room. Same applies with glass and / or mirrored furniture which can help a smaller space feel bigger.

Go for gloss

Whether it's paint, wall tiles, floor tiles, worktops or kitchen units, glossy surfaces reflect the light (similar to the way that a mirror would). I used to hate the glossy white wall tiles in our bathroom but now I appreciate that they keep the space light and bright and make what is a small room appear much bigger. 
Install skylights or a sun tunnel

An instant way to brighten up an extension or a dingy hallway is to add skylights (think Velux windows) or a sun tunnel which will allow natural light to come flooding in from above.

Install bifolds or sliding doors

Another way to brighten up a new extension - or an unextended home - is by installing bifolds or sliding doors. In both cases the slim frames and large expanses of glass help draw the eye to the outside space and help frame the view. Bifold doors open up completely which can provide more of a link to the outside, however the glass panels are often narrower, meaning you get less of a picture frame effect when the doors are closed. Sliding doors on the other hand, tend to have larger panes of glass so whether open or closed, can offer a less obscured view of the outside. 

Glass is your friend

Hallways can be dingy spaces and whilst you can paint your wooden banisters and railings white, thicker banisters and railings can still be blocking precious light from filtering through the different levels of your home. One way of counteracting this is by replacing your staircase with a glass option like one of these glass balustrades from TuffX Glass so the light can pass through without any obstacles. I know from personal experience that having cats and wooden banisters is not the one (my banisters are so clawed up they could easily be mistaken for a woodworm infestation!) so the idea of having hardy metal railings or slimline glass would make our hallway look a little more polished as well as lighter and brighter!

Image source: TuffX GlassImage source: TuffX Glass

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